This week’s featured product comes from the department of “Things I don’t necessarily need, but definitely want.” Whether it’s for cutting timber or just display, Best Made Axe Co. will get you into the swing of fall like the true woodsman you were meant to be.
Best Made was founded in 2009 by Peter Buchanan-Smith, who wanted to create a better axe. Motivated by his life working on cattle farms and paddling the lakes of Northern Canada, he knew the axe was the “oldest and most invaluable tool known to mankind that could not only function as a lifeline in the wilderness, but at home could be a magnificent window that could inspire people to reconnect with their hands, craft, and nature.”
The American Felling Axe has been designed from the ground up by the Best Made Company and features a 4 lb Dayton pattern head. It’s slim profile makes for improved cutting and chip throwing. Each is drop forged in the United States from American-made 5160 alloy steel that is hardened to a Rockwell harness of 54-56 HRC. What does all of that mean? It means that it’s built for hard work, not just to look pretty. The Best Made mark (BMC) is forged into a side of each head, USA on the other.
As artistic as they are tough, this axe is at home working in the woods or hanging over the fireplace. Each comes with a leather bridle sheath. Add a classic Duck Canvas Case for $110. Every axe is shipped in a beautiful hand-made wooden crate with wood wool stuffing (think leg lamp). A brilliantly artistic 25-page manual that accompanies your axe also includes a handwritten identification number (mine was 12914).
The handles are straight-grain, premium Appalachian hickory and come in 18 variations ranging from the unfinished version or smartly painted handles of your choice for $255-300. I personally liked the names given to each painted handle, “Lincoln”, “Strike Anywhere”, “Hushabye Baby”, “Black Donald”, and “Bobby McGee” are just a few.
Four of the handles feature the virtues that drive the company that Best Made calls The Famous Four: Courage, Compassion, Grace, Fortitude. “Our four most cherished virtues that we aspire to live up to…and that we hope will inspire others.” Each sheath is also emblazoned with CCGF on it.
Beard Fact: Did you know that one of the parts of an axe is called the beard? Other parts include the the belly, throat, heel, toe, cheek, bit, poll, and knob.
Best Made Company also offers a medium sized version called the Hudson Bay Axe. I picked up one of these and took it with me on a weekend camping excursion. While the American Felling Axe is great for taking down entire trees like a boss, the Hudson Bay is perfect for splitting firewood and was perfectly used in the service of camp. It’s balance and heft were remarkable. It felt like an old friend the instant I picked it up. Whether it’s packing or canoeing, at 2 lb’s it is half the weight of the American Felling Axe and perfect for brush clearing, limbing and kindling ($140-$255).
Need something even smaller? Try the Straight-Hold Hatchet. Weighing in at just over a pound it has a drop forged and hand-ground head made of 1060 American alloy steel hardened to a Rockwell Hardness of 48-55 HRC and the same Appalachian hickory handle available in 5 bright dipped colors. The straight handle design allows for improved agility and safety. This one also accompanied me at the campsite and turned out to be indispensable. The poll end is perfect for pounding and pulling tent stakes. It was ideal for carving, light brush, and splitting kindling. It also comes with a beautiful leather cover.
The Best Made Co. also has an immense supply of bags, enamelware, toolboxes, apparel field guides, and longbows. Yep, Longbows. You’ll never feel better than the day you order an axe and a longbow at the same time.
Before deciding to purchase such a manly axe you should ask yourself the following questions: “Do I have a beard?” If the answer is “Yes” then go on to question number two. “Do I have a hand forged axe to compliment my beard?” If the answer is no then get yourself to Best Made Co.’s new website and treat yourself, and your beard. You deserve it.
Do you know of an awesome product out there that we should feature? Let us know via Twitter @bandholz.